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Pen  Pen is offline
Join Date: 09 Nov 2007
Location: South of England UK
Posts: 999
A Chronological Inexactitude

The Fortune Teller

‘Wonderful, now just stay exactly like that for a moment longer’, he said, looking straight into her eyes for the briefest, most mesmerizing second.

Pixie wasn’t sure what happened next – she saw him remove the plate from the camera, but how the table appeared in front of her, she had no idea.

And spread out in the shape of a fan on the red chenille cloth next to a small crystal ball were some cards – cards that looked familiar, although she knew she’d never seen them before in her life. It was almost as if the characters from her illustrations had come alive and run into all the little scenes on the table.

And there he was, this strange man (whose photographic skills had, it must be admitted, been described as ‘magical’), re-emerging from underneath the black cloth that covered the back of the camera to smile and ask her - even as a question formed on her own lips - which one she liked best, before disappearing yet again into the darkness.

Pixie stretched out a hand.

‘Hold still please!’

Later, going over the little scene in the studio, Pixie decided that she must have been daydreaming. Perhaps, for a brief instant, she’d even fallen asleep, because the next thing she knew for sure was that the photographer seemed once more to be removing the plate from the back of the camera, his voice level and matter-of-fact as he told her to call again in a week to collect her portrait, and the cards, the table, and the little crystal ball had quite disappeared…

Penelope Cline

NB. The photograph of Pixie from which the above was created first appeared in The Lamp in 1904, and later in The Craftsman (1912).

In a letter to Mr Stieglitz, her mentor, dated November 19th. 1909, Pamela Colman Smith says: 'I've just finished a big job for very little cash! A set of designs for a pack of Tarot cards....'

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